Lower School

 

©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

Les Enfants du Sacré Coeur (One-Year Old – PreK 3)

Les Enfants, a division of the Academy of the Sacred Heart and Berchmans Academy Grand Coteau, is among twenty-four schools of the Sacred Heart throughout the United States and Canada and over one hundred and fifty worldwide.  Each is marked by the distinctive spirit of the foundress, Saint Madeleine-Sophie Barat, and seeks to educate the whole child—spirit, mind, and body.  The philosophy of these schools is expressed in the following manner:

Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to:

A personal and active faith in God

A deep respect for intellectual values

A social awareness which impels to action

The building of community as a Christian value

Personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom

This philosophy of education, which has so successfully informed instruction in Sacred Heart schools all over the world since 1800, mandates that learning take place in a flexible, child-centered community; that it engages the total child in the process of growth and development; and that, on all levels, it be intellectually challenging.

Les Enfants offers a balanced approach to learning. Our philosophy combines the traditions of Sacred Heart with the developmental standards of each age group. We balance our dynamic curriculum with the belief that children’s work is play, and through play comes significant learning. We focus on working with each student to enhance socialization skills, language development and motor ability. Our classrooms and curriculum are child-centered to meet children where they are as individuals and as a group. 

Our low student-to-teacher ratio enables us to develop meaningful relationships with each individual child. Specialized grouping is used where each child has the opportunity to use his/her own strengths to contribute to a collective goal.  Small groups engage with art, music, movement, real-life objects, and literature to make learning relevant and exciting. Our classrooms are inviting, with an atmosphere that is engaging and child friendly. 

Our student-led curriculum requires that our teachers are active listeners, observers and co-explorers. Through documentation, students and teachers alike reflect on past experiences to develop future learning opportunities. Teachers are highly trained and have a passion for lifelong learning.

One-Year Old Program:

A one year old is ready for daily activities that are designed to give them support and practice during what can be considered their largest developmental growth period. They are engaging in more difficult gross motor activities, mastering their fine motor, expanding their language and experimenting with social relationships. Our program is designed to offer them all these opportunities through play.

By building a positive and trusting relationship with each child, we provide a gentle and nurturing introduction to school while facilitating their emerging independence. As the children become comfortable in the environment and with their peers, we incorporate increasingly complex learning experiences and opportunities to develop oral and receptive language skills. The children also participate in a range of sensory experiences through play and small group work.

Each day our one-year old’s engage in free play and exploration of materials. Our program includes receptive and expressive language development, classroom math/science and fine-motor activities, imaginative play and outdoor recreation, enrichment classes in religion, art, music and physical education.

Other activities include use of manipulative materials and games to enhance readiness skills and coordination, group experiences to promote sociability and concern for peers and the environment, and informal introduction to pre-reading and math skills.

Two-Year-Old Program:  

At two years old, children are developmentally ready to engage in activities that leave them questioning ideas and wondering about new ones. They are expanding their self- help fine motor skills, leading to future independence, and utilizing their gross motor skills to safely take risks and interact socially during play time. At two they are seeing the world through new eyes and they are ready to experiment and explore. By providing hands-on and open-ended activities, we foster the students’ creativity and imagination and emphasize the discovery process of learning

Our two-year-old program allows students to explore, imagine, problem solve and create. Over time, they play in increasingly complex ways, developing their cooperative communication and problem-solving abilities. Our small group approach is designed to encourage independence skills and collaboration while supporting the social-emotional needs of toddlers. During small group work children participate in active, engaging learning activities. Our focus is to teach children how to think not what to think. 

Each day our two year old’s engage in free play and exploration of materials as well as work on projects of interest.  Our program includes receptive and expressive language development, classroom math/science and fine-motor activities, imaginative play and outdoor recreation, enrichment classes in religion, art, music, and physical education.

Other activities include use of manipulative materials and games to enhance readiness skills and coordination, group experiences to promote sociability and concern for peers and the environment, and informal introduction to pre-reading and math skills.

PreK 3:

The PreK 3 program provides a safe and nurturing environment that addresses the developmental needs of the total child.  The spiritual, physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of each child is promoted through a concrete, play oriented approach to early childhood education.  The curriculum is designed around thematic units with materials and activities chosen for their relevance to the young child’s world.

In PreK 3, the classroom environment, rich in materials to stimulate the child’s natural sense of wonder, encourages learning as a whole- integrated and meaningful.  The curriculum includes language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, art, music, French, and religion and also includes physical education where the concepts of body awareness, motor coordination, strength, and hand-eye coordination are introduced.  PreK 3 students foster genuine relationships built on mutual respect and kindness, and they engage in a love of learning and each other that extends beyond the classroom.

LOWER SCHOOL OVERVIEW (PreK4 – 7th)

The Sacred Heart philosophy of education, which has successfully informed instruction in Sacred Heart schools all over the world since 1800, mandates that learning take place in a flexible, child-centered community, that it engages the total child in the process of growth and development, and that, on all levels, it be intellectually challenging. Learning is a developmental process of interrelated elements involving the senses, imagination, and curiosity.

The children and teachers form a community who come together daily to pray, share, learn, and grow. This community is under the direction of the Lower School Head who prepares an environment in which each child comes to see himself as both a unique individual and a valued member of the community.

Each student is respected for his unique abilities, qualities, and style of learning and is expected to be motivated by intrinsic rather than extrinsic factors. He is given the opportunity to assume responsibility for his own learning, and he is challenged academically and intellectually.

Pre-Primary (PreK 4 – Kindergarten)

The Pre-Primary program (PreK 4) provides a safe and nurturing environment that addresses the developmental needs of the total child. The spiritual, physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of each child is promoted through a concrete, play oriented approach to early childhood education. The curriculum is designed around thematic units with materials and activities chosen for their relevance to the young child’s world.

In Kindergarten, children begin in earnest to be readers, writers, and mathematicians. They grow daily in these areas as they become active learners in the school community. The classroom environment, rich in materials to stimulate the child’s natural sense of wonder, encourages learning as a whole—integrated and meaningful. The curriculum includes Language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, art, music, French and religion. These subjects are integrated through unifying themes that spark curiosity and engage the child in active exploration.

The Pre-Primary program also includes physical education where the concepts of body awareness, motor coordination, strength, and eye-hand coordination are introduced. Games introduce the values of fair play, group participation, and cooperative play.

Primary (1st-3rd)

In the Primary School, the hands-on curriculum and skilled, caring teachers enable each student to discover the joy of learning and problem-solving. The Primary years provide a nurturing environment that supports each student as his potential unfolds in light of the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart Schools. Teachers work closely with individual students and with small groups to ensure differentiated learning throughout the curriculum. Primary students participate in special school celebrations that encourage faith, sharing, gratitude, respect and community spirit, while educating to instill self-confidence and leadership.

Preparatory (4th -7th)

In the Preparatory Grades, faculty members trained and experienced in working with this age group implement a program that meets the spiritual, academic, physical, social and emotional needs of students during these years of rapid growth and change. The challenging curriculum lays a firm foundation for upper school and beyond by helping students to strengthen their basic skills while thinking in an increasingly abstract manner and mastering more specialized content. Students grow personally through clubs, leadership opportunities, service opportunities and the peer support program. Students follow a schedule of departmentalized and interdisciplinary classes that are small and taught by teachers with specialization in the subject areas.

Curriculum
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